Friday, August 30, 2013
I'm Such a Prophet
I been saying it for years now, preaching it here and everywhere and I am still convinced small scale farming is the future.
It's pretty easy to see it coming. The large mono-crop and heavily transportation dependent way we have been doing things for the last century is coming to a close. The infra-structure alone needed for this type of production cannot be maintained without cheap energy and armies of contractors. When we have another serious oil interruption and the mandatory "agricultural industry first" methods of rationing comes back, like it did in the 70's, all the new urban and especially suburban dwellers will scream bloody murder.
Oh I know it's a very slow, gradual process and not easy to see from a day to day standpoint but as I have noted already local produce can now compete closely enough with the transported stuff. Cost is the first obstacle to fall. There will be others.
Many people are seeing the business opportunity as well it seems.
BBC News - Professionals quitting the rat race to become farmers
"This has become a viable career," adds Mr Connors. "There's lots of people in New England and California who run successful small businesses on their farms. As it's become a more viable profession, I think more people are considering it."
The above article speaks mostly of financial reasons for the trend but I believe it has many other appealing qualities. Social engineering and biased Affirmative Action laws are causing thousands of Men especially, to look to a future of their own making. They can't compete in the un-level playing field of today's employment. Organic farming is an area that the government tends to stay out of, at least in some states and in as many ways as it does other industries. It also lends itself better to adjusting to an underground economy if it ever comes to that.
There are a few other aspects to small farming I believe is being over looked in the article. Small farming is going to need to be anything but a mono-crop or even a mono-variety affair. Not only is the small farmer going to need to grow a variety of vegetables but his or her small farm will need livestock, fruit and hay or fodder to stay viable. Moving from one form of making money to another especially in the more Northern areas.
It's going to take skills and years of experience to rediscover the ways of small farming.
But most of all it is going to take an entirely different attitude towards debt and money management. The days of subsidizing and agricultural loans are also coming to an end. The Small farmer will need to count on many different crops and items bringing in operating capital on almost a year round basis. No more big payoffs for one harvest like we see today and then riding out the rest of the year.
No Small farmers will need to become jacks of all trades. Selling vegetables in the Summer months, hay over the Winter and livestock in the Spring (or other times depending on type). Perhaps having a constant fresh egg supply to sell or firewood. You get the idea.
It's a fledgling industry once again and yes there are outside events that could change the direction I see us going but unless we find a brand new energy source I don't see the outcome changing.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!